Trendy; very fashionable or up to date in style or influence. Too often people are turned off by this word (and with good reason sometime) because of things like Livestrong bracelets, popped collars, rapper’s personal clothing lines, minions, or supporting Donald Trump. There is an almost endless list of trends we’d all rather forget or pray come to an end sooner rather than later. This word ‘trendy’ for all the negatives it’s associated with shouldn’t be considered a dirty word however. If it weren’t for trends in hygiene, medicine and technology we’d all be living in a much less bearable world. Up to date in influence; this definition of trendy is what makes trends powerful, when the influence is negative it hurts but the alternatives are the trends making the world a better place. Sustainability is a trendy concept in today’s world and if there’s any hope of reversing the course civilization is following sustainability is a trend we need to stick
Pittsburgh is a trendy city these days; the old blue collar town had a big hand in building this country. At one point US Steel was the biggest company in the world, easily compared to the likes of Apple and GE today. Powerful men like Henry Clay Frick and Andrew Mellon made Pittsburgh one of their primary residences, the latter even donating his Pittsburgh estate to the Pennsylvania School for Women (now Chatham University). Deindustrialization in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s saw Pittsburgh’s steel industry began it’s decline, over one hundred and fifty thousand steel workers were laid off between 1981 and 1982. This affected the worker base and economy of the city on every level; Pittsburgh became a forgotten city with an identity crisis for the better part of the next couple decades.
If you look around today it’s rather impressive to see how resilient this town is. The population increasing, new development is taking place everywhere you look and Pittsburgh seems to be finding a new identity as a player in the Tech industry, much of which seems to have strong roots in sustainability. Erich Schwartzel of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said, “Relatively young companies in Pittsburgh already have found ways to capitalize on the sustainability movement, proving you can go green without going in the red.” Companies like Innovation Works, FASTTAC, and Bright Innovation are just a few to find a home in Pittsburgh.
Zero Fossil is another Pittsburgh based company finding it’s place here in Pittsburgh. They specialize in providing alternative energy for a wide range of social, commercial, and industrial gathering. The Zero Fossil mission is to “design and manufacture power systems that utilize the abundant clean energy around us – sun, wind, water, and even human power.” Through their products and services they provide their alternative energy to events around Pittsburgh like the Bloomfield Farmers Market, Allegheny Green Innovation Fair, Solar Concert Series at the Children’s Museum, and the Thrival Mini-concert presented by UPMC at BKSQ (just to name a few). Their services are made possible by their impressive American made alternative energy products. My personal favorite which is also probably the most publicly accessible is The Juice Box, a personal portable energy generator. Perfect for small gatherings it’s solar powered and even has a bicycle attachment which enables the owner to pedal more power into the unit after the sun goes down. Companies like these are the result of a new tech trend towards sustainability and they are the backbone of the new Pittsburgh.